Here's another important thing we can see in this chapter: some workers were not only willing to work, they were willing to do the less glamorous, or less desirable tasks.
Check out verse fourteen:
Malchijah the son of Rechab, the official of the district of Beth-haccherem repaired the Refuse Gate. He built it and hung its doors with its bolts and its bars. (v 14)The Refuse Gate?
Also called the Dung Gate.
The Dung Gate was located in the southern section of the wall, and was called that because all of the garbage and filth of the city was carried out this gate. The garbage pit of Jerusalem was located where the Tyropean Valley met another valley called Hinnom. (The Valley of Hinnom was where the backslidden people of Judah sacrificed their children to Molech - the story is in II Kings 23, if you want to check it out.) There was a third valley called the Kidron, and where these three came together was the garbage pit that burned night and day. That pit was called "Gehennom" or "Gehenna" and that is the same word that is translated "hell" in scripture.
Probably pretty aromatic, no?
And don't you guess that there were a lot more people who volunteered to repair the Fountain Gate, or the Sheep Gate, or almost any other gate?
But Malchijah realized there was a job to be done.
A less glamorous job than the other gates.
A less desirable task than the other gates and sections of wall.
And he buckled down to do it.
How in the world does what Malchijah did apply to us?
No matter what walk of life we are in, in whatever job or task that we do, we need to work as unto the Lord. We need to be willing to take the less glamorous job. The less desirable task. And be the best worker that we can be. Our hard work and our willingness is not really for our employer, or for anyone else here on earth, actually . . . it's for the Lord. He sees, and He is pleased and honored when we do good work.
With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men, (Ephesians 6:7)
knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. (Colossians 3:24)Malchijah was a willing worker on a less than glamorous task: repairing the Refuse Gate of the city. We can strive to be like him in our daily lives, as we work to bring glory to our Lord.
We can also look at the gate itself and remind ourselves of the need for constant cleansing. The need to be cleansed daily, and be grateful for the grace God extends to us.
Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. (II Corinthians 7:1)Yep, Nehemiah 3 is an awesome reminder of how we SHOULD function as believers . . . cooperatively, not competitively. Being willing to work outside our own comfort zone when we are needed. And willing to take the tasks that are not so desirable, in order to accomplish God's purposes. Sometimes we Christians really do a championship job of this . . . when the menfolk gather to remodel an older member's home so that he can get around inside with his new wheelchair. When the ladies come together to plan a fundraiser, or to coordinate a baptism or special children's service.
Peter said that if we know Christ, we are a vital part of the body!
At some point, the Lord wants us to get involved:
Nehemiah 3 . . . godly leaders. Willing workers.
Lord, help us to be what you would have us to be!